Edward III (13 November 1312 – 21 June 1377) was King of England from 25 January 1327 until his death; he is noted for his military success and for restoring royal authority after the disastrous and unorthodox reign of his father, Edward II. Edward III transformed the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe. His long reign of fifty years was the second longest in medieval England and saw vital developments in legislation and government—in particular the evolution of the English parliament—as well as the ravages of the Black Death.
Edward was crowned at age fourteen after his father was deposed by his mother and her lover Roger Mortimer. At age seventeen he led a successful coup against Mortimer, the de facto ruler of the country, and began his personal reign. After a successful campaign in Scotland he declared himself rightful heir to the French throne in 1337 but his claim was denied due to the Salic law. This started what would become known as the Hundred Years' War. Following some initial setbacks the war went exceptionally well for England; victories at Crécy and Poitiers led to the highly favourable Treaty of Brétigny. Edward's later years, however, were marked by international failure and domestic strife, largely as a result of his inactivity and poor health.
Edward III was a temperamental man but capable of unusual clemency. He was in many ways a conventional king whose main interest was warfare. Admired in his own time and for centuries after, Edward was denounced as an irresponsible adventurer by later Whig historians such as William Stubbs. This view has been challenged recently and modern historians credit him with some significant achievements....LESS
On 26 August, the English army defeated a far larger French army in the Battle of Crécy. from Edward III of England
Edward himself commanded the division behind, while the rear division was led by William de Bohun, Earl of Northampton. from Battle of Crécy
The English army was led by Edward III; it mainly comprised English and Welsh troops along with allied Breton and German mercenaries. from Battle of Crécy
The Battle of Crécy (1346), also called Battle of Cressy, was an important English victory during the Edwardian phase of the Hundred Years' War. Coupled with the later battles of Poitiers (also fought during the Edwardian phase) and Agincourt, it was the first of three major English successes during the conflict.
The battle was fought on 26 August 1346 near Crécy, in northern France. An army of English, Welsh, and allied troops from the Holy Roman Empire led by Edward III of England, engaged and defeated a much larger army of French, Genoese and Majorcan troops led by Philip VI of France. Emboldened by the lessons of tactical flexibility and utilisation of terrain learned from the earlier Saxons, Vikings and the recent battles with the Scots, the English army won a decisive victory.
The battle saw the rise of the longbow as the dominant weapon of the Western European battlefield until the advent of the arquebus in the 16th century. Crécy also saw the use of some very early cannon by the English army; archaeological digs found shot on the battlefield centuries later. The combined-arms approach of the English, the new weapons and tactics used, which were far more focused on the infantry than previous battles in the Middle Ages (whose predominant focus was the heavily armoured knight), and the killing of incapacitated knights by peasantry after the battle, have led to the engagement being described as "the beginning of the end of chivalry".
The battle crippled the French army's ability to come to the aid of Calais, which fell to the English the following year. Calais would remain under English rule for over two centuries, falling in 1558.